When you buy a home there will be a lot of people involved in your transaction. Real estate agents, mortgage lenders/brokers, the federal government, appraisers, insurance companies, title attorney / closing attorney and more. Don’t forget that through the entire process, the most important piece of the puzzle is you. To be in the best position to qualify for your dream home at the lowest mortgage interest rate available, make sure you have your personal finances and prospective home finances in place when you begin your home-buying journey. Work on improving your credit if it is less-than-perfect and determine roughly how much of a down payment you’re likely to have and where it will be coming from so that you can complete any required forms and documents within plenty of time. Because there are so many players in each home sale, the roles of each can get confusing. Read a bit about the role each player will play in your home and home loan search below!
Real Estate Agent
The role of the real estate agent is probably one you’re at least somewhat familiar with already. Your agent will find homes for you that match the parameters you’ve set out and will show you home. They are your representative during the home buying process. Realtors can act as dual agents: they can sometimes represent both the buyer and the seller in a transaction; however, it’s ideal for you to have your own agent whose sole job it is to lobby for your interests.
We advise that you get pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin your home ownership search so that once you find the home of your dreams you can act quickly to make an offer and (with any luck!) purchase it. Mortgage brokers are individuals or companies that work with many lenders and work to get you the best loan terms available. You can work either with a broker, or with a single lender.
The Federal Government
The federal government offers several mortgage backing home ownership programs such as FHA loans (through the Federal Housing Authority) and VA loans (through the Veterans Administration.
Appraisers / Insurance / Title Attorneys and more
Once you’ve found the home you intend to purchase and you’ve been approved for a mortgage loan to buy that home, you’ll meet (and sign paper work from!) a number of other real estate professionals. You’ll want to have your prospective home appraised by a licensed and experienced appraiser. When you close on your new home, you’ll meet with a title attorney to go over all the required paperwork. You’ll need to contact an insurance company to purchase homeowners insurance. And finally, you’ll likely also want to contact a moving company, in order to get you, your family and all of your belongings safely and quickly into your new home!